Wine: Women on top in the red wine stakes
Published 13/02/2010 | 05:00
On the weekend that's in it, I thought there might be certain interest in a study on the effect of red wine on a woman's libido. Trust the hot-blooded Italians to come up with this research idea.
They put it to the test on 800 women aged 18-50, from around the Chianti area in Tuscany -- a heartland of fine red wine, predominantly from the Sangiovese grape.
Lest you think that this was a few bored academics at the University of Florence with little else to do with their time, their findings were reported in no less worthy a publication than the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Apparently, some evidence exists for a positive correlation between moderate wine intake and men's sexual health, and they wanted to assess whether there was a tie between daily red wine intake and sexual function in women.
The participants were split into three groups: teetotallers, those who drank one or two glasses of red wine day, and, finally, those who had a daily intake of more than two glasses of red wine and/or other types of alcoholic drink.
They all anonymously completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire, and guess what? The one to two glasses a day women came out on top, while those who didn't drink at all had the lowest scores, something that the researchers found "intriguing".
What may make it even more intriguing is the fact that the average age of the one to two glasses a day red-wine-drinking woman was older than the other two groups. Red grapes have long been associated with good heart health.
One suggestion arising from this finding is that antioxidants in red wine have a beneficial effect on the lining of the blood vessels, widening them and so increasing blood flow to key areas of the body.
"While this finding needs to be interpreted with some caution, because of the small sample size, self-reported data and the lack of support from laboratory exams, it nevertheless suggests a potential relationship between red wine consumption and better sexuality," say the research team.